Throughout “Désirée’s Baby” by Kate Chopin, slavery and racism play a massive role in how the characters, particularly Armand Aubigny, interact with one another. In Armand’s case, he believes that he holds one of the oldest, proudest, and whitest names in nineteenth century Louisiana. The pride cached within the Aubigny legacy comes to dictate his life and virtually every drastic decision he makes; he appears to live in constant fear of having his name tarnished. His reputation and pride are established as his driving force, but also contribute to a hatred of anyone who is colored. He wills a strict and ominous slave ownership into reality as a result of this irrational fear and overabundance of pride. In her short story, Chopin uses the literary …show more content…
However, the birth of his son appears to have moved him and this strictness seems to vanish instantly. During Madame Valmondé’s visit to L’Abri, Désirée explains how Armand has yet to punish a slave since the birth of their son. Along with Désirée’s testimony to Armand’s newly discovered compassion, Chopin writes that “Marriage, and later the birth of his son had softened Armand Aubigny’s imperious and exacting nature greatly” (2). The temporary joy upon the plantation soon falls to Armand’s pride and he violently returns to his imposing nature as his son’s age approaches three months; during this time his child’s skin tone darkens and it becomes apparent that the child contains mixed origins. He immediately begins to suspect Désirée, as his unwavering certainty in his heritage boosts the white pride and privilege cradled within his soul. Armand becomes enraged at the sight of his mixed child, and begins to relinquish this rage upon his slaves, with Chopin writing that the “very spirit of Satan” overtook him in how he dealt with them. Désirée, directly in Armand’s crosshairs on behalf of her obscure origins and his white pride, will soon shiver in his coldness and be kept powerless by his
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Finally, the short story ended with the words from his mother’s letter that told us that he was part black. His baby was a different color because of him not because of Desiree. Armand, had not wanted Desiree because of the thought that she was the reason why his child was a different color. The ending of the book leaves one’s thinking how they ended up after the letter. Chopin, wanted the reader to feel exactly how she felt about people being so racist.
Desiree says good-bye to Armand and goes to the deserted field with her child and never came back. Armand was burning all of Desiree’s and the child’s materials into the bonfire. Then he found some letters from Desiree, but one was from his mother to his father, the letter said that she was grateful that Armand would never find out his mother was of slave heritage (Chopin). In “Desiree’s Baby, “ Kate Chopin uses imagery, foreshadowing and allusion to develop the ominos, mystery and sad story.
Armand’s father had brought him home from paris, when he was eight, after his mother died. He came from a wealthy family. According to the Armand’s father thought of Desiree didn’t seem like he was happy because the way he grew up, he wanted someone from the same wealth as them. After they had gotten married and they were expecting a baby, the day had come of the birth of the child Mrs. Valmonde was surprised about the baby when she saw it because perhaps the kid didn’t look like one of the parent’s. “ Marriage, and later the birth of his so had softened Armand Aubigny’s imperious and exacting nature greatly.”
Our heritage is recognized as one of the most defining aspects of our identity, we can either embrace it or despise it, however, our racial ancestry is recognized as being more complicated and talked about in terms of conflict. The text Desiree’s Baby by Kate Chopin shares a common theme with Everyday Use by Alice Walker on the issue of racial heritage and the stigma surrounding it. In Desiree’s Baby by Kate Chopin, the theme of racial heritage is mainly expressed through Desiree’s Husband Armand, who faces his internal conflict with his possible mixed-race background that comes into conflict with his occupation as a slave owner and his marriage with Desiree. When Armand’s suspicions of his racial background are revealed by his external conflict,
They end up having a kid but the boy turns out to be not white. Armand angry and upset kicks out both Desiree and her baby because of her mixed race. That night, Armand burns all of Desiree’s possessions. While doing this, he finds a letter that his mother wrote to his
Parenting has been a long practice that desires and demands unconditional sacrifices. Sacrifice is something that makes motherhood worthwhile. The mother-child relationship can be a standout amongst the most convoluted, and fulfilling, of all connections. Women are fuel by self-sacrifice and guilt - but everyone is the better for it. Their youngsters, who feel adored; whatever is left of us, who are saved disagreeable experiences with adolescents raised without affection or warmth; and mothers most importantly.
Also, when he states “Ah, upon another face perhaps it might, but never yours,” he is telling her that he thought her face was perfect without it, and that an unperfect face would look good with it. By telling his wife that she is not beautiful because of a birthmark, he is showing that he has authority over his wife’s life because her life affects him, depicting that he has complete control in their relationship. Armand also has a negative reaction towards Désirée. Désirée had just given birth to their son, and when both Armand and Désirée realize one of them is not fully white, because their son is not white, Armand explains, ““It means,” he answered lightly, “that the child is not white; it means that you are not white”” (Chopin, 3, Introduction).
Nightjohn, a novel written by Gary Paulsen, takes location throughout one of the finest periods of prejudice and racism in American records. Nightjohn is the story of a young slave lady named Sarny. Within the book, Sarny meets any other slave named Nightjohn, he teaches Sarny a way to study and write. Ultimately, after Nightjohn is punished for coaching Sarny, he runs away, however, later he returns to complete coaching Sarny. Sarny failed to accept the fact that she was a slave or the unfairness in opposition to her prevent her from learning.
Armand’s mother tries to spare him the burden of knowing his actual origin by keeping it from him all those years. She thinks by hiding it from him it will solve many of his problems to come although it may be the reason as to why this all happens. Chopin’s use of irony is what makes this short story so popular. As a reader, plot twists make the story very entertaining and keeps the reader on the edge of the seat wanting to know what will happen next. This is one of the reasons she uses it in some of her short
“Desiree’s Baby” is a short story by Kate Chopin. “Desiree’s baby” is a story about a family in the era where the colored were neglected and treated poorly. Desiree was abandoned and left as a baby. When she was adopted she grew up in a very wealthy family. Armand and Desiree have known each other ever since they were little so when they grew up they got married.
With the denial of his past and of his race, comes hatred and racism into Armand’s heart and actions. This goes hand and hand with the denial aspect with the usage of characterization from Chopin’s part. Racism ran high in most people’s characteristics of this time because Chopin put this story’s in pre-Civil War times. With the treatment of his slaves, you can really see how Armand feels about others from the race that he sees as less than, even though he is really one of them. The substandard treatment of Armand’s slaves only stops once Desiree gives birth to the baby, but when there was a chance of Desiree being of an African descent, Armand sent her and their child away without thought, saying “Yes, I want to go” with no emotion showing in his voice or actions (3).
The irony of this short story was that it was Armand who was of mixed raced and not his wife. He was the one who tainted the baby, he found out after fining a letter from his beloved mother that was written to his father (Chopin). Irony is a surprising interesting twist at the end on a story. I am sure that after he read this letter that he soon figured out why his father was so kind to the slaves and how it was wrong of him to treat his wife the way he did and immediately regretted his choices. Thus, she was no longer there and he could not get her back, he thought she went back to live with her stepmother, and if he goes to look for her or the stepmother went to look for her and the child they would both find that Desiree never went to her original destination.
According to the text, “ Young Aubigny’s rule was a strict one, too, and under it his negroes had forgotten how to be gay…” (Chopin Pg 2). Later in the story it states “ Armand is the proudest father... he hasn’t punished one of them since the baby was born... he only laughed” (Chopin Pg 2).
During the era in which this short story was written, southern authors had a major influence on the way the culture was going to grow with racism, and also the way people loved each other. Kate Chopin, a traditional author who believed in southern ways, exemplifies how race and the characteristics of conditional love played a role in her story. In “Desiree’s Baby,” the author, Kate Chopin, provides an illustration of conditional love exemplified by the character, Armand, towards his wife and child; furthermore, Chopin provides instances of irony, elements of surprise, foreshadowing, and symbolism to prove that Armand’s love for both of them was not the unconditional love typically felt and portrayed by women, such as Desiree, during this era. Throughout the story, the readers notice different times where Chopin uses elements of surprise. One major surprise is when Armand opens the letter from his mother and finds out that he has African American in his bloodline.
“And yet the mere fact of her racial history causes Armand to reject her and the baby, to cease to see her as the woman he loves and instead to see her as simply black and therefore beneath him”(Champlin 1). Even though Armand once loved Desiree, it all changed just because of her background. Desiree’s finds out her baby is mixed, Armand tells her to leave because she brought shame to his family name. “And yet the mere fact of her racial history causes Armand to reject her and the baby, to cease to see her as the woman he loves and instead to see her as simply black and therefore beneath him”(Champlin 1). Even though Armand once loved Desiree, it all changed just because of her